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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 29, 2010

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale in the area of Doyon's Landing bubblefeeding in November.
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Ketchikan: Johansen faces constituents at town hall meeting by DEANNA GARRISON (KRBD) - Embattled Ketchikan Representative Kyle Johansen held a public meeting with District One constituents Tuesday night. Residents who attended the two-hour meeting voiced general disappointment in Johansen's decision to forfeit his House leadership position and membership in the House majority caucus. - Listen to this KRBD story...

Ketchikan: Johansen holds Ketchikan meeting on political future by Lori Tipton (KTUU) - At a town hall meeting with his constituents Tuesday, Ketchikan Rep. Kyle Johansen vowed he will return to the state House’s Republican caucus when the Legislature convenes in January. Read this KTUU article...


Ketchikan: An Evening of Jazz, Rock and Blues -- the 8th Annual Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship Concert

An Evening of Jazz, Rock and Blues

2010 Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship Winners
Left to Right: Lisa Torres, Austin Kalkins, Andrew Sullivan, and Sarah Gucker

The 8th Annual Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship Concert will open with the Soundwaves. Included in their set will Kris Berg's arrangement of the favorite, "Bye Bye Blackbird", with solos by Leslie Snodderly on alto saxophone and Jaren Escueta on piano. "Tomorrow" from the Broadway musical "Annie" will feature trombonist Dwayne Clary and Joe Truitt is the trumpet soloist. Gordon Goodwin's "Hit the Bricks", in a "funky" style has solos by Andy Sullivan (tenor sax), Jillianne Fazakerley (trumpet), and Sullivan Barry (alto sax). Gordon Goodwin is a Grammy and Emmy award-winning composer and is also the leader of the Big Phat Band. "Emergency Stopping Only", and of course a blues tune, "Blues Mode" fill out the Soundwaves part of the concert.

Next up is the Kayhi Jazz Band directed by Julie Cron. "How High the Moon" is a jazz standard first featured in 1940 in the musical "Two for the Show". Neal Hefti, who wrote for the Woody Herman and Count Basie bands, composed "Cute", which will also be on the program. "Lester Leaps In", is composed by Lester Young, a tenor sax player in the Count Basie Band in the 30's and 40's. The popular song "Blue Skies" written in 1926 by Irving Berlin, has been arranged for big band by Paul Jennings.

Discovery has some new faces in the band this semester, many of whom started playing jazz this past summer in the McPherson Summer Jazz Program. Included in their set is "Horse With No Name", made famous by the 70's group "America". Katie Powers on alto sax, Amber Junker on trombone and Inga Christensen on trumpet, are the soloists for "First Time Around" written by Mike Lewis, a writer for the Glenn Miller, Lionel Hampton and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras, and presented in a medium swing style. Two songs made famous by the rock group, "Journey" entitled "Open Arms" with Tatianna Clary, trumpet soloist, and "Don't Stop Believin'" with Katie Powers, alto saxophone soloist, is arranged by Paul Baker. "Jazz Hero", a Latin-rock tune by George Vincent features soloists, Leslie Snodderly (tenor sax), Andy Sullivan (trumpet) and Amber Junker (trombone). - More...
Monday - November 29, 2010

Fish Factor: 2010 salmon post-season wrap up By LAINE WELCH - Alaska salmon fishermen were paid an average of $.66 for each pound of fish they delivered this year, an increase of nearly 16% over 2009.   

That’s just one of the many interesting statistics in the post-season wrap up that provides a more complete picture of how the 2010 salmon season played out.  

 This year’s statewide catch of nearly 169 million salmon was the 11th largest on record and although it was very close to the 2009 catch, all species saw substantially higher prices. The salmon also were bigger this year totaling almost 812 million pounds by volume, 9.7% heavier than last year.  That poundage was much more pricey – nearly $534 million at the docks (ex-vessel), an increase of more than 28%.

 It reflects the high demand for wild salmon, said Seafood Trend’s Ken Talley.   This summer alone, wholesale salmon sales amounted to nearly $507 million, a “startling” increase of 30.5% over last summer, Talley said.   

In terms of prices paid to Alaska fishermen - for Chinook salmon, the average price went from $2.76/lb. in 2009 to $3.44/lb., an increase of nearly 25%; coho salmon prices increased 13%, going from $.90 to $1.05 a pound; for sockeye, the average statewide price increased 23.3% from $.90 to $1.11. Chum salmon prices jumped to $.66/lb, up nearly 35%. (The total value of the chum fishery   at nearly $93 million is the highest value since 1975).  The pink salmon average price of $.35/lb also is an increase of 35% over last year.

Yukon lampreys

Lampreys provide a quick payday for Yukon River fishermen each winter.  It’s a tricky fishery that depends on knowing exactly when the fish are under the ice.   

“When the run hits, you’d better be ready,” said Jack Schultheis, manager of Emmonak-based Kwik-Pak Fisheries, who helped launch the lamprey fishery seven years ago.  “It’s a day or two and they they’re gone,” he told KYUK.

The lamprey fishery occurred two weeks ago, primarily from Russian Mission up river to the buying station at Grayling. Using dipnets through holes hacked in the ice, 25 fishermen raced to produce a catch of 24,000 pounds out of a 40,000 pound catch limit. They received $1.50/lb for their catch.

 “That’s what’s always been a problem with getting the volume – all the stars have to line up properly to be successful volume-wise,” Schultheis said. - More...
Monday - November 29, 2010   



Alaska Science: Diamond dust dazzles on dog days By NED ROZELL - Here we go again. Early this month, a friend at the National Weather Service pointed to a swath of sub-zero temperatures across a map of northern Alaska. The low temperatures were anchored by minus 27 degrees Fahrenheit at the always-frigid Chandalar Lake weather station.

Diamond dust dazzles on dog days

Sundogs visible from Fairbanks in mid-November, 2010.
Photo by Ned Rozell

But, just as we begin to wince from the cold, we experience one of the best light shows of late fall and early winter. Fairy dust wafting down from the sky turns the passing ravens into Tinkerbells as they fly through glittering shafts of light. The sun, sitting low on the horizon, seems to be wearing a white Mohawk as rainbow shields hang in the air on either side. The mystical parentheses are pointed to by kids in cars and admired by people looking out south-facing windows.

These phenomena, caused by fine ice particles called diamond dust, have been detailed in print many times before. You can find them represented as colored-pencil illustrations in books produced by the first polar explorers, who savored the bit of dazzle in their black and white worlds.

A few modern-day scientists appreciate these pillars of light and “sundogs,” too. Ken Sassen can answer the phone in the middle of the day and — without reaching for a book — explain the theory behind both. Sassen is an atmospheric scientist with a south-facing office on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, where he works for the Geophysical Institute.

“I’m looking out the window and people are stopping and looking up like they see flying saucers,” Sassen says. He then offers an explanation for the displays.

“Ice crystals are forming because it’s so (darn) cold out there,” Sassen says.

Air temperatures around zero degrees Fahrenheit encourage the formation of plate-like ice crystals that can reflect light in spectacular ways.

“They’re perfect little hexagons that fall with their large, flat faces aligned with the ground,” Sassen says. - More...
Monday - November 29, 2010



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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696.

letterRoe Herring fishery By R.K. Rice - This is largely in response to Kevin Kristovich's letter. You are a lifelong local so you probably remember when as late as the mid 90's Tongass Narrows was teeming with herring every December through January. People jigged bait and pickling herring off the docks. Some used small seine's to harvest bait for longlining shrimping etc. Prior to that East Behm Canal also had a large herring population. Kah Shakes roe herring fishery just suddenly collapsed, along with most of the local herring stocks. - More...
Monday - November 29, 2010

letterWard Cove Deja 'Vu By Mary Lynne Dahl - Once again, Ward Cove is the subject of a questionable purchase by a buyer who has already demonstrated that he either does not have or is not able to raise the money that he offers. He also refuses to disclose, does not keep his word and may, in fact, be just another flim-flam man looking at Ketchikan as an easy mark for his own enrichment plans. A Seattle area man, Kenneth Hopen of Hopen & Associates, a Nevada limited liability corporation, has come up with an offer that has, so far, not put a dime on the table. - More...
Friday PM - November 26, 2010

letter Response to Raw Fish Tax By Scott Willis This URL is an online form that Bristol Bay Fisherman must submit to the Borough for a Raw Fish Tax. 180,000,000 fish at a nickel per fish. See why the City of Ketchikan wants this Tax? - More...
Friday PM - November 26, 2010

letterRE: Herring By Kevin Kristovich - This letter is in response to the comments and concerns made by Lawrence,"Snapper" Carson. For years now, I have been reading about Mr. Carson commenting about the local herring population and how he accuses the Department of Fish and Game for mismanaging the local herring stocks we once had in the Kah Shakes area south of Ketchikan. He also goes on to object to the West Behm Canal area that is designated as a commercial sac roe herring fishery area. - More...
Friday PM - November 26, 2010

letter Concede By Michael McColley - Mr. Miller is the one who didn't want the federal government to help Alaskans. Now it is Mr. Miller who tried to file a motion to sue over misspellings and the election process and who asked for help from the federal government.- More...
Friday PM - November 26, 2010

letterRaw Fish Tax By Kevin Kristovich - To all Ketchikan commercial fishermen and local harbor users. Show your support to see that the Ketchikan City Council returns the recent funds stripped from the harbor department that were actually voted in by the council in December of 2008 to be held in trust by the harbor department for future harbor improvement and developments. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 23, 2010

letterKyle Johanson Should Resign By Robert Thompson - At the meeting with District One Republicans our representative, Kyle Johanson, encouraged folks to call him - of course, he doesn’t bother to answer his phone. Kyle J. said he is willing to meet with anyone. Yet no one seems to know where he is or how to get a hold of him. - More..
Tuesday PM - November 23, 2010

letter Herring By Lawrence "Snapper" Carson - The Alaska Dept. of Commercial  Fisheries has decided it is time to fish herring for sacroe in the spring of 2011 in Behm  Canal. This is a dormant mandated fishery. It is scheduled to happen when the herring population has reached a threshold population established by the  Alaska  Department of Commercial Fisheries. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 23, 2010

letterProfiling has its place. By A. M. Johnson - As it relates to our current National airport TSA situation... "Once upon a time in the early days of our Western Territory development, a young Eastern newspaper reporter ventured west to witness and report on daily events. Stepping down from the stagecoach in a Western town, he witnessed the crowd gathering around a newly constructed gallows. Inquiring, he found that there was to be a hanging of a young horse thief. Horrified, he witnessed this act and was distraught. Several days following the hanging, it was discovered that the wrong man had been hung. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 23, 2010

letterOpen Letter: New fence at the South Tongass Fire Station By Scott Cragun - I received (the STVFD) letter regarding the proposed new fence at the South Tongass Fire Station and I have a few questions or comments that I would like to have answered or addressed. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 23, 2010

letter RE: Cutting Public Safety By Roger Hackstock - Darlene Guzman is absolutely correct, 100%. I've known her for years and if anybody has a grasp on things in Ketchikan she does. The police department and the fire department in the city need your full support. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 23, 2010

letter Miller needs to let go By LeAnn Pickard - Am I the only person who is rather shocked by the way Miller is handling the outcome of the votes? He seeks to challenge misspellings of Murkowski's name, regardless of voter intent, and is now planning on calling for a recount because there were volunteer observers who did not have the training needed and therefore some ballots that should have been challenged were not. The math says that even if he gets all the 8,000+ ballots taken out of the equation, Murkowski is still in the lead by a couple thousand votes. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 24, 2010

letterMan-up Joe By Michael McColley - I've lived in Alaska most all my life. I know Joe Miller and have met Lisa Murkowski. I believe the people, the voters of Alaska have had their say. Joe you can not push the Alaskans around. Man-up you lost, Lisa won. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 23, 2010

letter What's sauce for the goose? By Sandy Powers - I was intrigued by the Kevin Sweeney (Murkowski's campaign manager) quote as reported in Sitnews [Nov. 17th]. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 23, 2010

letter RE: Iranian Nuclear Weapons Threat By Adam Price - Mr. Donald Moskowitz’s letter (Iranian Nuclear Weapons Threat, 11/9/10) basically said it’s time to use force against Iran in an effort to stop their nuclear program.  The letter states that a number of countries have nuclear weapons, but are considered “stable” and they behave with “rational conduct.”  Umm…let’s see, which country is the only one in history to drop not one, but two atomic bombs? - More...
Tuesday PM - November 23, 201o

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